James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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Campaign 2016: Governor Scott Walker, GOP Presidential Candidate

by James M. Lindsay
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, July 13, 2015. (Darren Hauck/Reuters)

Twelve Americans have become president without having earned a college degree. (Two of them are on Mount Rushmore.) Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who studied at Marquette University but left before graduating, hopes to make that number thirteen—and the first since Harry Truman. Walker announced on Monday what has been long expected: he is running for president. He is the fifteenth prominent Republican to declare for the White House and the seventh governor. He won’t be the last one on either score. Read more »

What’s Worth Reading This Summer?

by James M. Lindsay
Mobile library by the beach in Tel Aviv People check books at a new mobile library for beach visitors initiated by the Tel Aviv municipality on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv July 9, 2013. (Nir Elias/Reuters)

CFR.org editor Bob McMahon and I sat down yesterday to record the annual summer reading episode of CFR’s “The World Next Week” podcast. Our good friend and colleague, Janine Davidson, joined us for the conversation. The discussion was mostly, but not entirely, about books: what we have read, what we plan to read, and what we will take to the beach to read. Read more »

Campaign 2016: Governor Jeb Bush, GOP Presidential Candidate

by James M. Lindsay
Jeb Bush Kickoff rally Republican U.S. presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally in Miami, Florida June 15, 2015 (Joe Skipper/Reuters)

We have had two presidents who were the fathers of presidents. We have had a president who was the grandfather of a president. We have even had presidents who were fifth cousins. But we have never had a president who is the brother of a president. John Ellis “Jeb” Bush hopes to be the first. He announced yesterday what has been expected for months: he is running for the GOP presidential nomination. If Jeb Bush does become the first brother of a president elected to the White House, he will likely do so by beating a Democrat in the general election who is seeking to be not just the first woman elected president, but also the first First Lady elected president: Hillary Clinton. So if you like “firsts,” 2016 could be the election for you. Read more »

Campaign 2016: Rick Perry, GOP Presidential Candidate

by James M. Lindsay
Perry Foreign Policy Republican presidential candidate and former Texas Governor Rick Perry (C) acknowledges supporters after formally announcing his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president at an event in Addison, Texas, June 4, 2015. (Mike Stone, Reuters)

Can you get a second chance to make a first impression? Rick Perry hopes so. When the former Texas governor threw his hat into the presidential ring back in 2011, he was a favorite to grab the nomination. But his campaign faltered badly, most famously after a televised GOP primary debate in which he couldn’t remember the name of one of the three federal agencies he had promised to close. The experience didn’t diminish Perry’s confidence in his political skills or his presidential chances. Yesterday he announced that he is again running for the White House. If he is to succeed, he will need to triumph over a GOP field that stands at ten official candidates and counting. With Ted Cruz and Rand Paul already in the race, Perry is the third Republican presidential candidate with ties to the Lone Star State—with one more candidate with Texas ties waiting in the wings. Read more »